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October 13, 1989 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-13

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 13,1989
All-American

Johns

Directors Ford and Huston featured in film fest

BY TONY SILBER
FORD and Huston. Two American
film directors. Two legends whose
contribution to cinema have greatly
enriched the motion picture art form.
Although their films are quite differ-
ent and the men were quite different,
they are both being featured in a
unique film festival at the Michigan
Theater this term in conjunction
with the English and Film and Video
Studies departments at the Univer-
sity.
The films of Ford and Huston
have transported audiences for nearly
75 years to fascinating places to
meet intriguing characters who tell
their fantastic and memorable sto-
ries. Ford's films are a reflection of
his passions, espeically his love of
the American West;the festival at
the Michigan Theater features four
vintage Ford westerns - Stage-
coach (1939), My Darling Clemen-
tine (1946), The Searchers (1956),
and The Man Who Shot Liberty
Valance (1962). Ford's collabora-
tion with John Wayne in 1939 set
the young actor on the road to star-
dom as he went on to star in many
Ford films.

Although he made many westerns,
Ford's versatility extended to many
genres and styles. His adaptation of
Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath
(1940) boosted the young career of
Henry Fonda as it won the Best Pic-
ture and Best Director Oscars. The
next year, Ford performed an amaz-
ing feat in winning the same two
Academy Awards again for his mov-
ing and beautiful portrait of Welsh
coal miners in How Green Was My
Valley. Soon after he received the
Lifetime Achievment Award from
the American Film Institiute in
1973, he died one of the greatest and
prolific Hollywood filmmakers ever.
John Huston's story con
with Ford's to a large extent.
the son of actor Walter Huston, and
he first became involved in the mo-
tion picture industry as a screen-
writer, not a director. He got his di-
rectorial debut by accident with one
of his own scripts. That film was
The Maltese Falcon (1941), and it
catapulted Huston to stardom. The
films of John Huston cover a wide
spectrum of stories and settings. He
saw himself as an outcast of the
Hollywood studio system and as a

result filmed many of his pictures
abroad.
From The Treasure of the Sierra
Madre (1948) to The African
Queen (1951) to The Man Who
Would Be King (1975), Huston
filmed his work with an innovative
personal touch. His films are, for the
most part, in-depth character studies,
personal and often intense. His career
spanned an incredible 50 years before
his death in 1986 and though not all
of his films are classics, he did give
the American cinema a lot to marvel
at.
The Ford-Huston festival is being
presented in conjunction with
English/Film and Video Studies
412: Major Directors, which is
taught by Professor Peter Bauland.
The films show on Tuesday and
Wednesday evenings at the Michigan
Theater or at a designated location on
campus. Ford's and Huston's films
reflect their distinctive, always en-
grossing individual styles. Besides
being critically acclaimed as techni-
cally brilliant, their films are gener-
ally entertaining and very enjoyable.
This festival gives Ann Arbor a
pretty good taste of these two mas-
ters.

The innovative vocal group Chanticleers plans to have Hill Auditorium resonate on Sunday nigl
members' well-honed singing skills.
Vocal group Chanticleer
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BY GREGORI ROACH
ELEVEN years ago, in the spring of 1978, a San
Francisco area musician named Louis Botto invited a
few of his musical buddies over to sing through a few
motets and madrigals from the Renaissance. At the time
there was no way he could have envisioned that within
a few short years this seemingly oddly matched troupe
would evolve into one of the most highly acclaimed
vocal groups in the world, Chanticleer.
Often referred to as theAmerican contemporaries of
the (in)famous British group The King Singers,
Chanticleer is comprised of 12 male voices, from bass
to countertenor, whose performance repertoire and
demeanor would be envied by The Manhattan Transfer
or even the Leipzig Bach Choir. Their extensive
repertoire spans from early music of the 15th and 16th
centuries through the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic
periods, then on into contemporary pop, gospel, and
jazz. As of late they have accumulated a number of
commissioned works and signature arrangements which
are setting them far apart and above most of the choral
music world.
This "orchestra of voices" has been winning praise
as well as awards throughout Europe and the U.S. for

their ability not only to convey to an audiencea=
musically precise performance of the highest caliber but
also an intimate understanding of all the different forms,
of five centuries of music. Dr. Jerry Blackstone,
Professor of Choral Conducting and also the Director of
the University Choir and Men's Glee Club comments,
"They create a contagious enthusiasm which makes for.
a marvelous degree of communicationsbetween
themselves and the audience."
With these remarkable traits in their favor, it's a
wonder that we here in the U.S. have only recently
come to recognize the genius spawned within our own
borders 11I years ago. As is unfortunately the case with
far too many American performers, Europe alone
acknowleged and rewarded Chanticleer with invitations
to such events as the International Voices Festival in
Bruges and the lofty Salzburg Festival. But now the tide
has swept back to this side of the Atlantic and will be
rolling into Hill Auditorium this Sunday night. If
you're a fan of Palestrina, Take 6, or anything in
between come on out and see and hear for yourself what
the critics have been raving about for years.
CHANTICLEER will perform Sunday at 8 p.m. in
Rackham Auditorium.

Steve Tibbetts
Big Map Idea
ECM
Throughout the American folk
tradition, there has been an almost
mystical aura surrounding the "great
American road. It has been attributed
powers of rejuvenation that would
allow even the most alienated to
transcend the oppression of a back-
ward culture. This myth has been
captured most effectively by those
who have actually done "some hard
travelin"' (Woody Guthrie, Lead-
belly, Robert Johnson). Combining
this tradition with the concept of
Kraftwerk's Autobahn, the aural
equivalent of driving on a modern
highway, Guitar Magazine cult le-
gend Steve Tibbetts attempts to cre-
ate an instrumental montage that
mirrors the experience of a long
journey across America.
Tibbetts seeks to achieve this
through an unbelievably complex
maze of guitars and percussion in-
struments layered one on top of the
other. This lush production hopes to
Cf iin

portray the fertility of the great
plains, and it does exactly that. The
fecundity of America's bread basket
is captured, but so is the boredom.
Driving through Nebraska is pretty
cool for about ten minutes, and then
it begins to wear on you. Big Map
Idea is the same way - it's really
interesting for a side, and then you're
bored out of your skull.
What Tibbetts ends up with,
then, is nothing but atmospheric
driving music that sounds like it
should be in some affectedly hip
cross-country buddy movie. There is
no unifying concept to the record
beyond his production values, and
what that translates to is ELO, ex-
cept that Tibbetts has a great deal of
talent. It is nice for about a minute
at a time, but then again so is New
Age music.
-Peter Shapiro
America's bread basket is captured,
but so is the boredom. Driving
through Nebraska is pretty cool for
about ten minutes, and then it be-
gins to wear on you. Big Map Idea

is the same way - it's really inter-
esting for a side, and then you're
bored out of your skull.
What Tibbetts ends up with,
then, is nothing but atmospheric
driving music that sounds like it
should be in some affectedly hip
cross-country buddy movie. There is
no unifying concept to the record
beyond his production values, and
what that translates to is ELO, ex-
cept that Tibbetts has a great deal of
talent. It is nice for about a minute
at a time, but then again so is New
Age music.
-Peter Shapiro
Regatta Stigmata
Blue Swine
Reckless
Not knowing a lot about the mu-
sic doesn't exactly help me; just
trust me when I say that this is the
hardcore LP of the year. I borrowed
the tape last week, and since then,
the tunes have been flowing through
my head like flushed toilet water -
around and around and around. Re-
gatta Stigmata is a trio of power
with more than just senseless, mas-
turbatory guitar-based feedback maze-
fests, although that does play a part.
Point blank, these guys are funny as
hell. Lead singer Andy Goetz (who
also is credited for distortion guitar)

.4

has an intriguing range, almost Dy-
lan-esque at times, but I prefer to
think of his crooning as Lennon
meets D. Boon. Backing "skronk"
guitarist Pat Stoner and drum-
mer/percussionist Buck Turner com-
plete the triangle.
Diversity plays a large part in
Blue Swine, partly end-of-the-road
hardcore roar, thanks to Stoner and
Goetz' unique duet quality; the varia-
tions on noise on "Spam Love '89"
and "Cream of Life" are quite in-
triguing to say the least. But
Turner's rim-based percussive attack
(mostly on side two) makes Stewart
Copeland look like Ringo Starr. The
influences I pick up are mostly Iggy
and the Stooges, Thin Lizzy, Bread,
Vanilla Fudge, and V.U. But that's
pretty vague, considering the musi-

cal gamut that they dance around.
There is a bizarre charm in the
faux reggae tunes "In Two,"
"Buffalo Overdrive" and "Dear Mar-
garet," a nod to Regatta Stigmata's
English roots. Goetz moans "Dear
Margaret/ You made me shriek in
vain/ I gave you my strength/ You
gave me your sweaty, green under-
belly of starving, wretched, destitute,
impoverished, plague-ridden maggot
lechers - yeah, yeah, yeah..." while
the attack reaches a fever pitch.
Later, Goetz gulps "I want you
Maggie/ I want your Union Jack
back.../ Oh Maggie, oh Maggie/
Bring me peach melba, Maggie."
Equally intriguing is a scathing
pseudo-reggae/garage version of
"Little Red Rooster" that made my
hair stand up on end.
But the most bracing song on
Blue Swine comes on the anti-heroin
ballad "Satchmo Bled," one man's
symptoms of withdrawal put to mu-
sic. While daydreaming, I suddenly
found myself writhing in the Limbo
of Lost Musicians. Morrison asked
me where he might find the next lit-
tle girl. Keith Moon offered me a
beer. When Elvis reached out to

shake my hand, I spat in his face.
Then the groove kicked into over-
drive, and I found myself reliving
Woodstock backwards - instead of
dropping L.S.D., backstage I appre-
ciated Grace Slick's D.S.L.'s. Shaky
Jake came and took the stage as
Wavy Gravy. And Preacher Mike be-
came Arlo Guthrie and made it rain
for 40 nights and days. William
Shatner sang "Mr. Tambourine
Man" through a digital sampler. We
grunted in the psychotropic mud like
prancing porkchops. And the rain
came down...
If you should find Blue Swine in
the indie racks anywhere, by all
means, grab it. Remember: Regatta
Stigmata, Ann Arbor's best kept se-
cret.
-Forrest Green III
See news happen?
Daily
764-0552

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